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Professors (13/04/15 18:49:14)
    Quite a few people have experience with professors - some good, but in my experience it is mostly bad. One of my senior colleagues (now retired) once remarked: "In my mouth professor is a derogatory word". I knew what he was thinking - and of whom - but I think it is truer now than ever before.

    I am now the union representative in a commission to appoint someone to a senior position somewhere near me, combined with a professorship. Previously, on other occasions, the applicants were found qualified for full professorships; this time they were only found qualified for associate professorships. This was a blow; a sudden loss of pressure in the hot air balloon. These people think that the title is worth having. But it means working for a university that uses far too much of its resources on feeding an overgrown bureaucracy and too little on the students and on genuine research.

    By thinking positive they strive to become part of a negative system. I, of all people, say: If you want to do real research - go to industry instead of academia. If you choose industry, you might be lucky enough to find bosses who understand you and investors who shovel money on you. In academia you have to fight for every morsel, and your bosses are your rivals.


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